Have You Murdered Your Traditions Yet?
Eric M. Twiggs
“Murder the traditions that aren’t serving you” Sun Tzu
I’m a creature of habit. When traveling, I prefer to stay at the same national hotel chain no matter where I go. This particular establishment is consistent, convenient, and offers a complimentary breakfast.
After checking in, my process for getting to the room follows a certain routine: I always ask the desk clerk for a wake-up call, put my bags on the rolling cart, and slide my key into the room door. There’s one habit I have that drives my wife crazy: I keep the room keys after I check out of the hotel!
While traveling in late May, I decided to conduct an experiment. Since I was staying at the same chain, I took the key I kept from my March travels and attempted to use it in May at the new location.
As always, I asked for the wake-up call, put the bags on the cart, and walked up to my door. When I slid the key, the red light came on! I continued to slide the key like I always did in the past, with no success. And then it hit me: What you’ve always done, doesn’t always work!
You may be thinking “Eric, attempting to enter a new door with an old key is crazy!” I would argue that expecting to attract a successful advisor by running an unsuccessful ad, is just as insane.
If nothing changes, both of us will end up on the wrong side of the closed door! The key is to murder your traditions that aren’t serving you. Don’t check out on me before I will be reveal two tools to help you to stop doing what isn’t working.
The Rule of FIVE
In a previous blog titled How to get out of your box, I introduced you to the idea of “The rule of five.” Here's the backstory that inspired me to pursue this principle: Last year, a shop owner told me he was doing everything possible to find a technician.
I asked him to explain what he did the previous week to find help. I sat on the edge of my seat expecting a long action list, only to hear: “Eric, I ran an ad!” Several weeks later I found the rule of five, after reading an article written by Jack Canfield.
Here's how it works: For any major goal, you must do five different things in a week to accomplish it. This principle is powerful because it forces you to try things you wouldn’t normally consider. For example, If I asked you to come up with five strategies to improve your sales, your first thought may be to run an oil change special.
It’s comfortable for you because you’ve done it before. Most people run out of ideas after their third input. This is where things get uncomfortable, and the feeling of discomfort is what inspires you to think differently. By the time you get to your fifth idea, you would consider mailing socks to a potential fleet customer with a note promising to provide service that knocks their socks off!
If not for the rule of five, you would run the same oil change special, that didn’t work the last time! If you’re serious about murdering your traditions, commit to doing five different things per week to achieve your goal!
Dynamic leadership is all about finding different ways to achieve the same goal. The “start/stop/keep” technique is a strategic thinking tool, that can be a game changer for you.
On a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis, have a meeting with your leadership team and ask the following questions: 1. What new activities or strategies should we start doing? 2. What do we need to stop doing, because it’s not serving us? 3. What’s working well that we should keep doing?
An example of this in action would be as follows: “We need to start networking with our good employees and customers to find people. We need to stop running the hiring ads in the local newspaper that haven’t produced any candidates. We need to keep advertising on social media to attract the passive job seeker.”
This exercise works best when done with your co-owner, service manager, & lead technician. You will get to the answers faster by focusing on the leaders responsible for driving results in your key areas.
The answers must be specific and actionable. An example of a start statement to avoid would be: “We will start trying to make an effort to do better!”
For additional information on how to make this tool work, I recommend reading the book: Scaling Up, by Vern Harnish.
Implementing the rule of five, and executing the start/stop/keep meeting method, will help you to murder those traditions that aren’t serving you. I challenge you to commit to the new key, and to dispose of the one that only opens the old door! Have you murdered your traditions yet?
Eric M. Twiggs
The Accountability Coach
PS. PS. Tired of seeing the flashing red light on your door? I have a start/stop/keep worksheet you can use to get on the right side of the door. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send it.